Greatness appreciates greatness.
That was what Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao did when he honored football legend Tom Brady of Tampa Bay after the Buccaneers clinched a berth in the NFL Super Bowl championship Sunday in the US.
“Tom Brady does it again!” said Pacquiao through Instagram handle @mannypacquiao moments after Brady powered his new team the Buccaneers to the National Football Conference title with a 31-26 win against the Green Bay Packers.
“Every time they say he’s too old, he just goes to another super bowl!”
That caption of Pacquiao on Brady’s photo was somehow a shot at the critics of the veteran quarterback. Brady is in his 10th Super Bowl – a record in the NFL.
This is Brady’s 21st season in the NFL, and first with Tampa after he spent the first 20 of his career with the New England Patriots, a team he led to six Super Bowl titles with him winning the MVP award four times.
When he left for the Buccaneers prior to the 2020-2021 Season, many questioned the decision of Brady, and some even suggested for him to call it quits because of his age at 43.
Brady, however, silenced his detractors as he is back in the Super Bowl stage, hoping to give Tampa Bay its second title, and first since winning it in 2002 against the Oakland Raiders.
Brady and the Buccaneers will face the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs powered by their young rising star quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV on February 8 at the Raymond Jay Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Pacquiao, like Brady, is also trying to silence his own critics.
The fighting Senator of the Philippines, at 42, is still an active boxer with a ring record of 62 wins, 39 by way of knockout, seven losses and two draws. The last time he fought, he scored a split decision win against American Keith Thurman for the WBA Super World Welterweight title last July 2019 in Las Vegas.
In an IG post, rising boxing star Ryan Garcia, 22, announced that he is set to face Pacquiao. Garcia is undefeated in 21 fights, 18 via KO. He scored a TKO win against Luke Campbell last January 2 in Dallas.
The camp of Pacquiao has yet to issue a statement regarding the said fight.